Boy did Agent Dan Fegan play his cards wrong. In the end, the Cavaliers and GM Danny Ferry got exactly what they wanted. Anderson Varejao at the price he is worth. Ferry announced this morning that Varejao's three year offer sheet with Charlotte has been matched. While Michael Jordan may have been the greatest player to ever lace up shoes, he is looking rather Isiah Thomas-esque as a front office executive.
By signing Varejao to the offer sheet, he did the Cavs a huge favor. Nobody else was stepping up to do it, so why did he? As it turns out, Bobcats GM Rod Higgins has a history of helping out Fegan clients. His former team, Golden State, signed Troy Murphy and Jason Richardson to contracts neither of them deserved. Then he got J Rich to Charlotte. This summer, the Bobcats re-signed another Fegan client, Matt Carroll.
Bottom line here is that The Wild Thing is back in Cleveland and not a minute too soon. Without Lebron James the last three games, the Cavaliers are 0-3 and averaging 77 points per game, not to mention how many minutes Drew Gooden and Zydrunas Illgauskas have been forced to log with a primary backup. The Q crowd will most likely cheer the return of Varejao, but the local and national press has been killing him throughout the holdout. Interestingly, ESPN's Ric Bucher is taking Danny Ferry to task for the botch job:
Keeping Varejao means paying him $11 million for less than two years of work and then watching him walk. Throw in the dollar-for-dollar luxury tax Cleveland will be paying and it's $22 million.
The deal with the Bobcats, meanwhile, is nothing short of a masterstroke for Fegan, who has been publicly vilified by an increasing number of voices as the weeks passed while Varejao sat at home and the Cavs, defending Eastern Conference champions, struggled to stay above .500.
The real dagger is that the Bobcats' offer is actually a two-year deal for the Cavs because it includes a third-year player option. Varejao and Fegan have made it known they will exercise it if he's in Cleveland.
All I know is that the Cavaliers will have clean books in two years with Varejao, Damon Jones, Donyell Marshall, Zydrunas Illgauskas, Drew Gooden, and Ira Newble all off the books. That is why I disagree with Bucher.
Varejao Back with the Cavs - espn.com
Cavs Appear to Have Miscalculate in Varejao Dealings - Ric Bucher, espn.com
Cavs to Match Varejao Offer - Brian Windhorst, Akron Beacon-Journal
Varejao Overvalues his True Worth - Bill Livingston, Cleveland Plain Dealer